CLIMATE SUMMIT BEGINS IN PARIS; CHINA JOINS EFFORTS TO SAVE PLANET

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 “Tackling climate change is a shared mission for mankind.” – Chinese president Xi Jinping

“We are at the limits of suicide.” – Pope Francis

“Our nations share a sense of urgency about this challenge and a growing realization that it is within our power to do something about it.” – U.S. President Barack Obama

By Miriam Raftery

November 30, 2015 (Paris) –Around the world, an estimated million people took to the streets to call for action to save the planet as world leaders convene today in Paris for an international climate summit. But in Paris, where large public gatherings are banned due to a state of emergency declared after the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks, thousands of Parisians instead brought their shoes, lining them up along the march route in a silent yet powerful expression.

French President Francois Hollande said he cannot separate the “fight with terrorism from the fight against global warming,” adding that leaders must face both challenges to leave children “a world freed of terror” as well as one “protected from catastrophes.”

Pope Francis voiced support for climate change marchers and has urged world leaders to take action to reverse climate change. The Pope told reporters aboard the papal plane, “I would say that we are at the limits of suicide,” Reuters reports.

In the past, China has been a major hold-out, as well as one of the world’s worst polluters. But President Obama announced during today’s summit that the United States and China “have both determined that it is our responsibility to take action.”

Indeed,  Xi Jinping, president of the People’s Republic of China, announced, “Tackling climate change is a shared mission for mankind.”   Together, the U.S. and China account for 40% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, the World Resource Institute has reported.

Leaders may be getting the message following a 2014 climate march organized by Avaaz in cities around the world. This year, the marches turned out massive crowds in cities around the world. (Photo, right: Avaaz march in London, November 2015)

“For years, politicians have said to us, “Show us that people care and then we will act,” Ricken Patel, CEO of Avaaz, stated in an email to media.  “This weekend we’ve showed them that the whole world wants a 100% clean energy deal. And right now a video of us demanding it is screening above heads of state as they enter the conference."

In the U.S., irresponsible reports seeking to deny climate change and block reforms have been promulgated by "skeptics" including some prominent political candidates, primarily in the Republican Party, who have taken large donations from oil and coal industries underwriting the misinformation campaign. The oil, gas and coal industries have funded a massive effort to create confusion and dissuade the public from believing climate change is a serious hazard, much the same as cigarette and tobacco companies funded disinformation campaigns to hide the health hazards of tobacco for many years.

But the consensus of the scientific community – those with expertise to actually study the science of climate change, is indisputable.

Nearly all-- 97% of climate scientists worldwide published in peer-reviewed journals agree that climate change is accelerating at an unprecedented rate, is a serious threat to mankind, and that man’s actions are contributing to the potential point of no return.  (Chart, right: climate change since 1880; source: NASA)

NASA has published a list of major scientific organizations that agree on these points including the American Association for Advancement of Science, American Meteorological Society, the American Medical Association, Geological Society of America and others.  The site also include links to statements issued by worldwide scientific agencies and governmental bodies:  http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

In the streets of Paris, over 600 ad posters by artists around the world popped up on display the weekend before the summit, organized by Brandalism. The posters spoof major corporations including sponsors of the climate talks for promoting themselves as part of the solution when “they are part of the problem” according to Brandalism.

A poster spoofing Volkswagen reads “Sorry we got caught,” a reference to  revelations that the company falsified emission test results on its vehicles.  Others pardoy corporations ranging from Dow Chemicals to Air France.   Still others take aim at world leaders; one depicts British Prime Minister David Cameron in a racing suit with an oil company sponsor logo.

President Obama, speaking at the summit, stated, “What should give us hope that this is a turning point, that this is the moment we finally determined we would save our planet, is the fact that our nations share a sense of urgency about this challenge and a growing realization that it is within our power to do something about it.”

The solution, according to experts, is a shift toward clean energy sources such as solar and wind – meaning a shift away from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas. 

Approximately 195 different nations are taking part in the climate summit negotiations.  A key challenge is determining how to pay for transitioning toward clean fuels.

Narendra Modi, prime minster of India, a nation heavily dependent on coal, said climate justice  needs to allow “developing countries should have enough room to grow.”

Some have sought to have the world’s richest nations help fund the transition for poor countries. 

The effort is also getting help from several of the world’s richest business leaders, including Microsoft’s Bill Gates. The group has pledged to double its $10 billion investment on clean energy research and development.

Miriam Raftery holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is the editor of East County Magazine.

 


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Investigation Finds Exxon Ignored Own Climate Change Warnings

Despite its efforts for nearly two decades to raise doubts about the science of climate change, newly discovered company documents show that as early as 1977, Exxon research scientists warned company executives that carbon dioxide was increasing in the atmosphere and that the burning of fossil fuels was to blame. The internal records are detailed in a new investigation published Wednesday by InsideClimate News, a Pulitzer Prize-winning news organization covering energy and the environment. The investigation found that long before global warming emerged as an issue on the national agenda, Exxon formed an internal brain trust that spent more than a decade trying to understand the impact of rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere — even launching a supertanker with custom-made instruments to sample and understand whether the oceans could absorb the rising atmospheric CO2 levels. Today, Exxon says the study had nothing to do with CO2 emissions, but an Exxon researcher involved in the project remembered it differently in the below video, which was produced by FRONTLINE in association with the InsideClimate News report. In 1978, the Exxon researchers warned that a doubling of CO2 levels in the atmosphere would increase average global temperatures by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius and would have a major impact on the company’s core business. “Present thinking holds that man has a time window of five to ten years before the need for hard decisions regarding changes in energy strategies might become critical,” one scientist wrote in an internal document. The warnings would later grow more urgent. In a 1982 document marked “not to be distributed externally,” the company’s environmental affairs office wrote that preventing global warming would require sharp cuts in fossil fuel use. Failure to do so, the document said, could result in “some potentially catastrophic events” that “might not be reversible.” Some on the Exxon internal research team saw the potential for a greater impact in their work. “This may be the kind of opportunity that we are looking for to have Exxon technology, management and leadership resources put into the context of a project aimed at benefitting mankind,” Harold N. Weinberg, an Exxon manager, wrote in a March 1978 internal memo. But in the mid-1980s, collapsing oil prices, among other pressures, pushed Exxon to change course, according to the Inside Climate News investigation, widening a gulf between its research arm and the company’s executive suite. The report notes that by the 1990s: “Let’s agree there’s a lot we really don’t know about how climate change will change in the 21st century and beyond,” Lee Raymond, the company’s former chairman and chief executive officer told an audience in a 1997 speech to the World Petroleum Conference. In a written response to the InsideClimate News investigation, an Exxon spokesman said that, “At all times, the opinions and conclusions of our scientists and researchers on this topic have been solidly within the mainstream of the consensus scientific opinion of the day and our work has been guided by an overarching principle to follow where the science leads. The risk of climate change is real and warrants action.” While it’s impossible to know where the climate change debate would be today without Exxon’s early decision to shift course on the science, the about-face was a lost opportunity in the overall effort to slow the rise of CO2 emissions, according to one climate researcher interviewed by InsideClimate News. “All it would have taken is for one prominent fossil fuel CEO to know this was about more than just shareholder profits, and a question about our legacy,” said Michael Mann, the director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University. “But now because of the cost of inaction — what I call the ‘procrastination penalty’ — we face a far more uphill battle.”

Thanks Gene. Where is the link to the video?

I've read about the EXXON coverup a few other places too - it truly does sound more and more like the tobacco industry, which paid medical experts to lie and deny that tobacco caused cancer and other serious health problems, years after they knew absolutely that it did.  I wonder if these climate change skeptics still doubt that tobacco can kill you?

BTW.....

Hey Jack, you state only 3% of the scientists disagree with your position (not sure where you got that percentage), but I noted that all you libs went crazy in support for homosexual marriage....when only 3% of the population is homosexual. Que paso?

"Questionable"?

Gee....do people have PhD's in "Climate Change"? Which Universities offer this discipline? I would be curious as to the curriculum one must wade through to be a true "Climate Change" "expert". I gotta hand it to you though, instead of addressing the issue point by point, you simply dismiss the opposition by fiat. And you wonder why people are skeptical.

One would think....

....that if the evidence was so conclusive as you present, this wouldn't exist....https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming

Wikipedia page - Scientists opposing global warming assessment

Most of the scientists listed on this page are not experts on the subject of climate change, their assessments are questionable. There are thousands of scientists in the world, a very small percentage, 3%, of them have some disagreement with the accepted changes in our climate and cause. Given the amount of money the oil and coal companies are funding PR campaigns against climate change, it's no wonder they are given so much publicity. A reasonable person would see through this and act in the best interests of our future generations.

Some places are underwater already from rising seas:

 

From today's New York Times: The Marshall Islands are disappearing

When I was in Alaska several years ago, I learned that several Eskimo/Inuit villages had been forced to move their entire towns inland due to rising sea levels.

The glaciers were also melting at a never-before seen pace.

The same thing is happening to glaciers in Montana, which I also saw with my own eyes.

I was in Costa Rica late this spring.  The wet season had not arrived -  some areas of rain forest were dry.

This National Geographic shows glacier melts in Europe, which is calls ominous signs of global warming:

http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/glacier-melt

From Scientific American: Stable Antarctic ice is suddenly melting fast:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/stable-antarctic-ice-is-sudden...

Sea levels are rising in the U.S. too--a full foot in some places over the last 50 years, and about 4 inches here in San Diego...so far.  The Union of Concerned Scientists has a chart:

http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/impacts/infogra...

See it all with your own eyes. Just how much evidence do the skeptics need? 

 

 

 

 

The Science is clear and not acting is irresponsible

If I was a parent who constantly treated my child for an illness in way that only 3% of experts and specialists felt was right and the other 97% believed was harmful, I'd be put in jail. When it comes to the care of life supporting systems like the earth's climate, we must go with the science and not our political or personal beliefs. Besides, most of the changes being proposed to reduce GHG emissions will help our economy, health, safety, quality of life as well as better jobs.

bull manure

first of all obama is not my leader, nor are the rest of them leaders. the fraud of man made climate change is just that. if they are all so sure then the conference can be doing via skype or other on line venues. the little boy flies around the world telling me to change my lifestyle when one trip is more pollutants than I will put out in a lifetime.
if barryboy and the rest of the frauds were real leaders they would lead by example, not by fraud and government heavy handedness
climate fraud is the abuse of children and the future

Human Climate Change - thoughtfully examine and challenge it!

And now for the other side of the factual story that this magazine refuses to report. See these resources below for facts and information questioning and even debunking the traditional human caused climate change story line. The fact is natural climate cycles have existed as long as the earth has existed and there are hundreds of variables that impact them - including the sun's cycles and solar winds, polar magnetic changes, animal migrations and activities, and many, many others. Human activity is just one variable among many - one expert put it this way "Therefore, picking human activity out from all these complex variables as the PRIMARY cause of climate change is akin to modern day witchcraft." The fact is human activity may have an impact, it is not clear what it is how big that impact is, and since it is not clear what part all the variables play, it is not known what the true best solutions are. There has been substantial MIS-representation of the impact of human impact on climate change, and there are still significant problems with the data, and disagreement among scientists. The liberal left (including, with all due respect, ECM) refuses to bring all the facts out - they continue to use scare tactics to further their extreme "climate" agenda. See these resources below and do the factual research yourself - these are viable sources such as the NOAA, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and others. - ‘Climate Hustle’ - A new Skeptical Climate Documentary set to rock the Paris UN climate summit: http://www.climatedepot.com/2015/11/29/skeptical-climate-documentary-set-to-rock-un-climate-summit-film-to-have-red-carpet-premiere-in-paris/ - CO2 charts - http://patriotpost.us/opinion/37721 - NOAA data is inconsistent - http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/06/noaas-national-climatic-data-center-caught-cooling-the-past-modern-processed-records-dont-match-paper-records/ - Climate Change has been happening forever - http://nypost.com/2015/09/07/wake-up-obama-climate-change-has-been-happening-forever/ - Climate Change is not settled - http://www.wsj.com/articles/climate-science-is-not-settled-1411143565 - Climate Change is a Scam - http://www.express.co.uk/news/clarifications-corrections/526191/Climate-change-is-a-lie-global-warming-not-real-claims-weather-channel-founder - Climate Change is a scandal - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/globalwarming/11395516/The-fiddling-with-temperature-data-is-the-biggest-science-scandal-ever.html - The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future -http://superstore.wnd.com/The-Greatest-Hoax-How-the-Global-Warming-Conspiracy-Threatens-Your-Future-AutographedHardcover This is just the tip of the iceberg,...so to speak!

RE: Human Climate Change - thoughtfully examine and challenge it

WHAT A LISTING OF TOTAL JUNK!
Your "bibliography" is total junk. It would not pass in a paper in our local science fair, even in the junior division, (7th and 8th grade).

If you were to take an introductory survey course at one our country's best universities, in the "Ivy League," this would likely be you're textbook. http://www.amazon.com/Global-Warming-Understanding-Forecast-Edition-eboo... A copy is probably available at your local library.

Most of ChangeAgent's sites are not credible journalism sites.

ChangeAgent, you've included tabloids roughly akin to the National Inquirer as well as some blogs etc. Roger's sources are far more credible.

The Wall Street Journal is a credible publication but you've cited an editorial, not a news story, and in fact the writer, a scientist from the first Obama administration, acknowledges that climate change is real adding "Nor is the crucial question whether humans are influencing the climate. That is no hoax: There is little doubt in the scientific community that continually growing amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, due largely to carbon-dioxide emissions from the conventional use of fossil fuels, are influencing the climate. There is also little doubt that the carbon dioxide will persist in the atmosphere for several centuries. The impact today of human activity appears to be comparable to the intrinsic, natural variability of the climate system itself.

Rather, the crucial, unsettled scientific question for policy is, "How will the climate change over the next century under both natural and human influences?" Answers to that question at the global and regional levels, as well as to equally complex questions of how ecosystems and human activities will be affected, should inform our choices about energy and infrastructure." In other words he doesn't question that man is accelerating climate change - only saying it's hard to predict exactly how dire the consequences could be.

I would certainly rather rely on the opinions of 97% of the world's climate scientists than bloggers, tabloids and conspiracy theorists when making policies that will affect my children's future, and would hope our leaders would be rational as well. This happened to be a field I studied extensively (my degree is in enviornmental studies) and those who choose to believe disnformation campaigns funded by the oil industry and politiicans on their payroll are jeopardizing the future for us all. Those are facts, plain and simple.  This is not a case where there are simply differing opinions -- it's a question of whether or not to ignore science or not, and it's absolutely foolhardy to do so at this point. The numbers are accelerating at an even worse rate than most scientists forecast -- and the results could be apocalyptic. This is not an issue to be silent on, or allow misleading claims to masquerade as truths when the consequences are so dire. The Pope has a chemistry degree, by the way, and he has warned that the world is on a path to "suicide" if corrective action on climate change is not taken. What does it take to convince people that their  "leaders" are leading them off a cliff like lemmings?